Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Status Update

There haven't really been any new developments in the project lately, and we've been silent for about a year so I figure it's time for an update.

Currently the project is still in the planning/design phase.

Over the past few years Google's Android platform has come to resemble much of what I had envisioned for this project, only with a focus on cell phones rather than game consoles. It's possible we could maybe even use it as a base now, but probably won't as Dalvik is still limited to only Java bytecode.

The main difference between the Open Game Console concept and Android is that video games take a front seat for us, while they seem to be an afterthought on Android. Our original goal to avoid what's now regularly referred to a fragmentation was to restrict approved devices to use the exact same hardware components in addition to our OS. Over time we realized this was too limiting for our humble beginnings and looked for a solution where multiple hardware permutations could be allowed. The idea is to have an extensive benchmarking suite that could test every component and then rate your system. Based upon your system's performance rating you would be given a simple, single digit classification and then developers could optimize their games to target each class's minimum specs. For example, a level 1 system would be our minimum supported performance, a level 2 would be a much more powerful system (roughly twice as high) and so on. We might would also feature a level 0 class where the system would not be considered powerful for anything beyond a simple game like Solitaire, but could still be used for multimedia purposes like streaming video. Metaphorically, in this case a level 0 system would be like the Roku, a level 1 system would be equivalent in power to a Wii and a level 2 system would be akin to an Xbox360 or PS3; with higher levels emerging as enough of a performance gap emerged in new available parts.

As we have no company behind us, the likelihood of our project actually taking off anytime soon is pretty slim, so we would be more than happy to offer our designs and ideas to the Open Handset Alliance in helping target Android as a better gaming platform in the future. Furthermore, as more and more of the applications we use move to the cloud, gaming will eventually follow as projects like OnLive and Gaikai are already attempting today and in the next decade a console may not even be necessary anymore.